Win

In the game of life you may find yourself amidst a family feud

Odds stacked against you, destined to lose

The age-old fairy tale from hell of the narcissist and the empath, which one are you

My eyes have grown weary from struggling to see clearly through all this gaslighting

If you show any emotion in response to their explosive commotion

That is how they win

You’ve miraculously kept your boat afloat despite the perfect storm of their rage

The shore is just beyond your view, keep faith and raise your anchor

Starve them of fuel with your lack of reaction, let them sputter to a lonely stop without you

Adult babies cry, assuming you’ll run to their side as you usually do, but will you?

What if you stepped to the side, got off the ride, wasn’t it sickening for you?

What if you put yourself first, tended to your own hurts instead of those around you

Stop playing their game- you had nothing to gain, they drained your sanity and occupied your brain

Energy-vampire mind-game spinners, tangled you in their mess and devoured you for dinner

You care so deeply for their feelings, but they don’t care about yours

Stop playing their game

That is the only way you can finally win

Workaholic

I went into medicine partly due to heartbreak

The exhaustive training of medical school and residency was a welcome albeit ineffective distraction from my sorrow and loneliness
24-hour shifts are a convenient justification for not keeping in touch with loved ones
Even though the real excuse is my social anxiety and sense of inadequacy
Living within hospital walls, I suspect that I am not the only physician who became a medical doctor to try to forget unrequited love, to escape the world of human relationships
My older colleagues work far more than they need to to make ends meet, far more than any reasonable person would work in a week
Who needs friends or feelings when you have patients and science?
Our skin grows pale under fluorescent lights
Our vision becomes shortsighted as the screens stare unblinkingly
Our hearts forget how to feel carefree
Our muscles atrophy as our brains hypertrophy
Our minds become boxed in with facts, our mental filing cabinets overflow
I am a recovering workaholic working alongside workaholics who do not appear to be in recovery
Perhaps they suspect the same of me
Heads down in the trenches, none of us can know another’s heart
We can only know our own heart, if we listen
We carefully administer medications, surgeries and therapies
We measure progress in numerical metrics of lab values, calculated scores and vital signs
We arrive early and stay late
We work day and night without a break
We always have too much on our plates
We deprive ourselves of sleep, fresh air and food
We know why we have irritable moods
Practicing medicine is an unhealthy, imbalanced lifestyle and we know it
We can only ever heal ourselves
I’m ready to show it
I am finally healing my broken heart
I found that I had to begin at the start
Childhood wounds tangle and bloom
Trauma begets trauma until we change our thoughts, words and actions
Breaking old patterns even as we hold traction
I am love itself, I am the source of what I sought
My cup overflows, it was not all for naught

Take it Back

I feel the knots you’ve tied within me

Stains on my energy
Pains in my body
I observe the damage
Tension, nausea, sensation of suffocation
Insomnia, dizziness, diarrheal defecation
You made me feel powerless for too damn long
You beat me up but my spirit is strong
This shit isn’t mine
This was never mine
This is yours
Take it back
Take it all the fuck back
The trauma and the drama
The hurt and the dirt
Keep your hands and your mind out of my skirt
Don’t tell me what to do
Your mind games were never fun for me
Were they fun for you?
You can win the prize, I offer it freely to you
I won’t play anymore
Your ego will have to deal with the fact that I’m letting my sanity heal
I’m learning to put myself first
Through radical acts of self care to restore my happiness and health
Your energy is yours
Take it back

Love Languages

If you want to show me that you care about me

Be gentle

Be non-judgmental

Don’t bully me or pressure me, manipulate me or coerce me

Don’t try to imprint your paranoid delusions on my mind

Don’t ever tell me what to do, when, or with whom

Control is not my love language

My love language is freedom

Acceptance

Shining light in darkness

Healing and growth

Leaning through the veil of illusion

Not argumentative protrusion into the autonomy of others

You asked me if you were ‘other people’ to me

Absurdly

Like a child wailing from ego injury, I reassured you that you were special, that you are important to me. You are, but for different reasons than you think you are.

Though we are separate, we are also not separate

We are one spirit

You have forgotten

May you remember

Until then, you babble on

Rambling brook

Carrying messages in bottles

Smashing against the rocks of my enlightenment

If you want to win the game, you have to play

To play, you must be playful

Stop making everything so serious, so grave

Stop pretending that you care about oppressed people

As you actively oppress me

You shout for the voiceless, marching with your fist in the air

As you silence my voice without a care

If you care about me, let me be myself, let me live my life

You have your own life to live, your own love language of anger and jealousy

To communicate, we must learn each other’s languages

I think I’m learning your language of anger when I want to shout at you, ‘Leave me alone, I’ve always wanted you out of my life, I’ve had enough of your abuse’.

I refuse to be controlling and jealous like you.

Perhaps you will learn my language and say, ‘I accept you as you are without judgment, I love you unconditionally, I support you as you follow your heart’

Unbridled

I finally found my life partner, my love

We’ve lived together for more than a year, peaceful as doves

Happiness pours like sunlight into my life

We wanted to make our union legal before starting a family so we applied for a marriage license
I let my two sisters know the good news- one sister was warm and loving, the other sharp daggers of ice
The first sister offered to sing a song and bake a cake
The second could not be present on our tentative date- so she rained down anger and hate
She was irate that I might celebrate the day without her in any way, however small
Her tyrant insecure ego ruled all
So I gave in to her, as I do
And excluded the rest of my family too
I am trying to understand her thoughts strange and cruel
Why should she have a say on how I carry out my wedding day?
I am a grown woman
She is unwell, wrathful as a demon unleashed from hell
She took the day dedicated to my happiness and love and made it about her anger and pain
That’s what narcissists do: they take your plans and shit in your hands
I was about to take flight and she pulled me back down, the way she does
Like everyday of my childhood, she still can’t kill my hope
Now if I do have a ceremony in the future, I wouldn’t want her there
Forced and coerced, I’m frozen in PTSD
I don’t want her in my life at all, too long have I suffered abuse and trauma from her disproportionate drama
Growing up I wished for her death for my liberation, but that’s not the way
I must be brave, face her and say
Your presence in my life is toxic
You ruined my childhood and now the day of my marriage too
How many ruined days of my life will be enough for you?
Never enough, I know that much
I ache to break free from your trauma-bonds
My brain throbs from the damage of abuse
The blade of my tongue dangles, hungry to cut you loose
In trying to tie me down, you only tied your noose
Your tight grasp only pushed me away
I’ve got this strong itch to tell you you’re a crazy bitch
If you want to stay in my life, stop being a dick
The narcissist and the co-dependent is an act I’m tired of playing
That’s how I know my man is right for me- he is giving
You have an insatiable appetite for my energy
You can’t imagine the pain you inflict on me
As you claim to care about me
I don’t want your conditional love
Love is unconditional, you’re the one who is fucked up
So I cry and kick and punch the air, wonder if you feel it out there
I hope you have nightmares about me in your sleep, that I set fire to your sheets
I learned terror and violence from you
I want to scream
I want to shout
I want to let my feelings out
A deafening roar presses behind my teeth, that old jangly door
I could drown you in my tears
We are both angry: you were born angry, and I am angry that you impose your anger as my problem; you blame me for your meltdowns which are your responsibility alone
If only everyone did what you wanted, there would be peace, or so you’d have me believe
Peace comes from within, stop your deafening din
I am not responsible for how you feel
You are the one who unleashes your anger
I am the robotic doll with no apparent emotions at all
I am also the bride, and there is no room for you in my sphere of love and positivity
With each breath I regain space for myself
By meditation or medication, I wish you well
On second thought, go to hell
It is OK for me to speak my truth
In the eye of your drama storm, I followed my heart and wed my true love
Amidst healing from your narcissistic abuse
I unite myself with self-love
You always tried to break me, but it only made me more unbreakable
You poisoned my wedding well-  I don’t want to sip from it again
You silenced my wedding bells, not knowing that the ringing in my ears cannot be suppressed
When we were little girls, I believed that I was responsible for your feelings
What an impossible task- you’ve always been mentally ill!
I believed it again when I didn’t stand up to you about getting married- when I took responsibility and cleaned up your mess by hiding my marriage from everyone else so that you wouldn’t feel left out
I hurt myself in the name of not hurting you
Yet you are hurt nonetheless, despite my best efforts, my ultimate sacrifice
I’m so fucking exhausted by this awful game
I hope that I fell for the lie for the last time
Armed with understanding, I slay the dynamic between our archetypes
There will be more tears to shed until the day that you are dead, and probably after that too, just to have known you, to have had my developing neuroendocrine system deformed by you
I struggle between wanting to make amends, to be sisterfriends
and to speak my truth, tell you what I think of you
Here is my unbridled rage: fuck you
Your misery is not my responsibility
I may not feel free yet, but with the pen I can write my revenge
Liberate my thoughts even though you may never read this
For a minute there, I lost myself
All these asshole experiences- with family members, exes, bosses
Simulating that I am a hunted and trapped animal
All this elaborate illusion to challenge me, push me to the limit to see if I can remember under pressure
That I am one with everything, that everything is one
In the quantum field, I tap into my innate healing energy, and radiate healing energy out to those motherfuckers as well
To the haters- though you are hurting, you are still loved
I may not like you, but I can assure you that you too are one with everything
Though you may never believe it in this lifetime, that is your loss, that is your spiritual amnesia to recover
I pray for the swift and complete liberation from suffering of all beings

Alice in Recoveryland

Alice had her heart broken

When she was quite small
And healing a broken heart
Isn’t easy at all
So she drank
To forget it all
But she couldn’t forget,
Even when she felt tall
In fact, the more she drank
The more she felt like she was falling
And falling…
Until- kerplunk!
She hit rock bottom, landed on her badunk
She had no where to go but up
But getting up is hard when you are on your badunk
Though Alice was hurting, she was also incredibly strong
So she climbed and she climbed, though her journey was long
To this day, she is climbing still
She is higher than she ever felt when she was looking out over windowsills
In towers guarded by grumpy ogreish men
Alice is a survivor, and she’d survive it all again
Her heart may have been broken,
But it never stopped beating
Though the sweetness of love was fleeting
And the bitter years of sadness and tears
Left a sting on her cheek and made her feel meek
She is finding her true voice
She is exercising her choice
To express herself in this world
Hers is the story of one small girl
Who grew into womanhood
The only way she could
Smoking this, drinking that
Sleeping with men wearing mad hats
Alice is every woman, in a way
Doing her best to recover from her past today
Building herself a better future
Re-writing her fairy tale
After giving so many men happy endings
She is creating a happy ending for herself
Filled with love, hope, and peace

Alchemy

I spend my evenings dissecting out the lead bullets which you pummel into my chest throughout the day

I gingerly remove the palpable parts of your reckless barrage

Do you intend to hurt me so deeply that I must perform surgery nightly just to keep my sanity?

If I ever had any sanity to lose, that is…

Wisps of breath curl coolly around my open wounds, trying to soothe the painful sting of your attack

I am humbled by how long it takes me to heal from injuries that you were so quick to inflict

Don’t tell me you Kant follow the Golden Rule

That is the universal elixir we are all hoping for

Now I know where the true treasure is

It has been mine all along, my heart of gold

I choose to share it with the world

What will you do with your golden treasure?

Please don’t keep it buried all your life

It is already within you, yours to share whenever you wish

If only I could get this message to you somehow

I’ve sent messages in bottles before

But bottles can lead to ripples

And I’m trying to calm my water

Splash

I’m learning to dodge the lead bullets of your matrix

And melt them into gold

Treating others how you want to be treated

Is a rule that never grows old

The Sting of the WASP

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, it’s just that

I have some long-standing frustration to express.

My personal experiences with the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture which I was born into are not meant to characterize everyone who identifies as a WASP.

The WASPy culture of my home community is one in which
everything is wrong, but nobody talks about any of it.

This illusion of perfection only fools ourselves

In reality, we are just as lost, anxious, depressed, alcoholic, drug addicted and trapped in abusive relationships as any other community.
From the outside, everything looks fine:
Picket-white fences, freshly mowed lawns
The house has been painted and the windows washed.
On the inside, our bodies are ravaged by insecurity and fear, leaving us worn down and raw like the bulimics that we are: caught in the binge and purge of a life of vanity.

We’ll do anything to keep up appearances even as we disappear further from our authentic selves.
Putting such effort into pretending to be what we are not is a tremendous waste of energy.
We strive to keep up with our neighbors in an empty shell of consumeristic existence, even though it costs us the true richness of our souls.

We go to church and recite prayers monotonously like mindless drones.
Can any discernible note of true worship be heard when we are only regurgitating printed words without feeling?
In our daily lives, how much are we really doing as Jesus would do in our thoughts and actions?
From what I have seen and heard, we could do much more.

Even as a young child I felt that attending my WASPy church was a time and place to desperately try to save face-
Emphasis was put on what to wear,
Instead of how we felt on the inside, in our hearts and minds.
We went to church to trick ourselves into feeling like we were living our lives right.
When actually we were living quite selfishly,
Without true regard for the suffering of others.
Our capacity to give was far greater than what we actually gave.
Even in giving, we were narcissistically trying to feel better about ourselves.
The same people who faithfully vowed to ‘judge not’ in church
Could be heard loudly judging their neighbors before and after the service.
I don’t want to judge WASPs on being judgmental.
I know they have suffered a lot and are doing the best they know how.

In a sincere wish to help them live their happiest, most fulfilling life

I want to gently remind them that they will suffer less when they judge less.
I’ve noticed that when I judge others, I only hurt myself.
Mentally separating ourselves from other humans by labeling them as ‘other’, ‘inferior’ or ‘defective’ only separates ourselves from our own humanity.
No wonder we often feel that our lives are insanity.
This rings true for judging ourselves too.

I judge myself and others every day, and every moment is a new opportunity to practice non-judgement, which to me is the highest form of spiritual practice.

I feel the heaviness that judging leaves in my heart, and I am ready to lessen my load.
Changing mental habits is a practice, not a perfect.

I feel lighter and happier when I connect through my heart to humanity.

I pray for spiritual awakening and liberation from suffering for all.
It is a goal as lofty as the tallest church steeple-
It is my dream, big enough to include all people.

The divine light within me bows to the divine light within you.

Dance with the Devil

I’ve met the Devil plenty of times
He’s a man with a drink in his hand, asking for mine
He’ll buy me a drink and drop a few dimes
But in the end, he’s just another waste of my time

I’ve seen the Devil at close range
I feel his eyes on me; he looks at me strange
When I hesitate to perform his every wish
(Whether or not I know what his wish is)

At first I make him happier than he’s ever felt before
Until I leave his heart panting on the floor
I survive with him til I remember how much I’d thrive without him

Like anesthesia, my amnesia wears off eventually

And when it does it’s like I wake up in the middle of surgery

Open heart in a bloody mess, I struggle to pick myself up and get dressed

Headed for the horizon, under duress, yet determined and strong, I sing my single song

Until I meet my sacred Devil again

And he gives me another chance to burn, another opportunity to learn

How many times must I learn how to get out of a toxic relationship?

Please, let this be the last time

The key lies in prevention, so I laid down a one simple rule:

Never be alone with a man behind closed doors, especially when alcohol is involved

The Devil likes to dance naked with me
His dick points at me like a compass needle
And I’m due-North, though I’d like to head South
His dick feels like a poison mushroom in my mouth
I want to spit it out, and shout:

Devil be gone- we’ve been dancing too long!
My feet hurt and they’re caked with dirt
Haven’t we made each other suffer enough?
Surely, your attachment to me feels rough
When I rip myself away

I’ve ripped myself away from the Devil
Plenty and plenty of times
I hope that I can quit him for life
You are my witness by reading this rhyme

New Role

New Role

While I was sleeping last night
A baby cried nearby
My dream translated the sound
Into you talking to me
You said, ‘I hate you because I’m shy’
I asked incredulously, ‘You hate me because you’re shy?’
Already in this short dream I had had enough of taking the blame for your issues, so accompanied by a friend, I stormed out
As fast as I could
But in dream-scape
It was like moving through thick gelatin
The next room I entered, with you right behind me,
Had my male cousins in it
I said, loudly enough for you to hear,
‘Hey, it’s my male cousins!’
And they each extended a hand to help pull me forward
I took this to mean that I have protective forces in my life
And I have help, if I just reach out and accept it
After waking, I reflected that I am the one who often resents others
Because I am too shy to express myself to them
So I feel like a victim
But I’m ready for a new role

I awoke to the sound of the baby crying,                                                                                       And prayed that she would continue to express herself freely;                                                      A gentle reminder that I once knew how                                                                                              To release my voice                                                                                                                         Without a filter                                                                                                                                         And let it fly